‘Aldi win every time’… except for this time

This morning the Guardian wrote about Aldi’s slip-up in their recent ‘price-slash’ campaign and it caught my eye. Aldi’s campaign shows a comparison between the price of a basket of goods from the ‘big four’ supermarket, Morrisons,  to a basket of ‘equivalent’ goods from Aldi, saying ‘Aldi win every time’. However, this series of ads has been banned. This comes after Morrisons complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), calling the campaign ‘misleading’.

What caught my eye is the fact that they are indeed misleading and recklessly so. When it comes to the price war between supermarkets all of us know that you have to be very careful with the wording, pricing, and products shown; especially if you’re going to compare yourself with another!


Aldi’s basket of goods came to an impressive £11.42, whilst Morrison’s basket came to a less appealling £18.19.

At first glance, you might ask yourself…

‘Why would I shop anywhere else?’

However, the eagle eyed folk at Morrisons spotted that Aldi’s basket contained predominately own-branded products in comparison to Morrisons’ basket that was full of branded items.

Aldi’s (very) small print disclaimer informing consumers that Morrisons might sell own-branded products at different prices didn’t cut it with The ASA, with The ASA saying that ‘consumers would expect the products that Aldi selected to be a “fair and representative” selection.’

Aldi UK and Ireland’s Chief Executive, Matthew Barnes, responded by saying ‘the company was “extremely disappointed” with The ASA’s “ambiguous and inconsistent” decision.’

A sloppy error from an otherwise admirable retailer. Perhaps they thought they’d get away with it, but Aldi need to remember that the price war is exactly that and the ‘big four’ won’t accept poor communications.

Photo and quotes from The Guardian


‘Look at me’… as I look at you: Facial Recognition Billboards

A campaign that launched yesterday in Canary Warf, London used creative billboards to raise awareness of the fight against domestic violence. The campaign was created by London agency WCRS who teamed up with Women’s Aid and Ocean Outdoor to coincide with International Women’s Day this Sunday. 

What’s so amazing about the billboards?

As a way of taking digital advertisements to a new level of creativity facial recognition is being used to recognize when people are paying attention to the ad. As more people look at the billboard, the bruises and cuts displayed on a models face heal faster. The aim of this is to communicate the benefit of not turning a blind eye to the problem and recognising the importance of doing something to stop domestic violence when you can see it happening. . 

Despite the campaign only premiering yesterday the advertisment has already won an Interactive Award in Ocean’s annual Art of Outdoor competition 2014. 

Women’s Aid and Ocean Amplify the Violent Face of Abuse from Ocean Outdoor on Vimeo.

I think this is a great way of using this technology for raising awareness of an important issue, rather than just targeting us with the right products. I often write blog posts about creative campaigns that I think shine within the industry and this is definitely one of them. A conventional billboard would have gained awareness but this digital communication takes it to the next level and will really make people think. 

What do you think?

Story found at adweek.com 

British Airways, Flying High For Interaction

Earlier in the year I posted about how standard advertisements just won’t do anymore. To get noticed they need to be interactive and fun. They need to make people think and react. An example that I gave was ‘Smarter Cities’ campaign with 3D billboards that let the public interact with the advertisements in their everyday lives. (Check out this post here: http://goo.gl/X9Kgiv). I wrote about the campaign because it caught my attention and made me think, exactly what the billboards were set out to achieve.

After reading an article on businessinsider.com about British Airways interactive billboards, it got me thinking about how creativity can be channeled by different formats to consumers. A billboard now-a-days doesn’t necessarily mean a poster that peels off after a month. It means digital. It means eye-catching. It means INTERACTIVE.

Below is a youtube video of the BA advertisement.

After the advertisement was released many people took to youtube to post videos of the billboard. These videos reached amazing view counts and were being shared via google+ by many of the viewers. This response shows the importance of being interactive with the public and the consumers.

British Airways’ head of marketing Abigail Comber said, “This is a first, not just for British Airways but for U.K. advertising. We all know from conversations with friends and family that we wonder where the planes are going and dream of an amazing holiday or warm destination. The clever technology allows this advert to engage people there and then and answer that question for them.” (businessinsider.com, 2013)

I personally think that this quote from Abigail Comber says it exactly how it is. There has been many times when I’ve been sat (procrastinating) looking out of a window wishing I was onboard the plane flying overhead. These billboards express the thoughts of people watching the planes take off and the day-dream of wanting to be flying away. The creativity and interaction of these advertisements will be thought-provoking and encourage the consumer to book a flight.

Just another example of how to be interactive in the current digital world. Well Done BA!

If you’d like to read the article, then here is the link: http://www.businessinsider.com/british-airways-interactive-billboards-2013-11


Moss, C. 2013. These Awesome Interactive Billboards Point To Planes Flying Overhead In Real Time. [online] Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/british-airways-interactive-billboards-2013-11 [Accessed: 25 Nov 2013].

‘Degrading’ Pot Noodle Post

Whilst reading through the latest issue of PRWeek (6th September) it got me thinking about how much people love to complain. This thought was provoked by the article ‘Pot Noodle Facebook post banned by ASA’ written by Amy Sandiford-Watts. In short, Pot Noodle posted a photo to its Facebook page of a women half-naked provocatively posing alongside the ‘Bombay Bad Boy’ flavour Pot Noodle with the caption, ‘Phwarr is it me or is it getting hot in here? HOT OFF. Which one gets you hotter?’

Pot Noodle Banned Image

After receiving complaints about the ‘degrading’ comparison between women and food products the ASA stated it was a ‘blunt comparrison’ and was ‘crass and degrading’, resulting in the post being banned. (However, just because the photo was banned from the Facebook page doesn’t mean it’s not still floating around on the internet for the likes of me to find.) My argument here isn’t that it wasn’t ‘degrading’ to women, on some level it is, but on a larger level it’s merely a cheeky innuendo which follows Pot Noodles standard tongue-in-cheek humorous approach.

Of course some people will be offended by it, but as degrading women in the media goes it’s really not that bigger deal (especially when compared to how women are objectified in the fashion and sport industries). And of course, I’m not saying that showing women off in the media is OK as long as it’s in small doses but that’s what sells, right? Sexiness, humour and the ability to get people talking. Unilever (owners of Pot Noodle) argued that it was a ‘lighthearted innuendo’ and that they ‘believed the word [hottie] would not cause widespread offence’. Objectifying women in the media, or men for that matter (I think we can all remember the Diet Cola advert), is wrong and causes strings and strings of backlash for both sexes, especially the younger generations but in my opinion this seems to be just a case of ‘moany-mouths’ finding any cheeky or controversial piece to have a whine about.

You can find the MediaWeek powered article in the latest edition of PRWeek. (Which, is sadly the last weekly printed edition as it’s gone digitial. HURRAY!)

Royal Baby Banter Boom

If there was a time that would be perfect to create a clever and humorous pun for product promotion or a brand campaign then now is that time. Many brands have taken the birth of the royal baby as an opportunity to come up with clever puns including Warburton, RyanAir and Coca Cola.

One of the main features of a good campaign is the timing of release. It’s not just about throwing a press release out there at any given moment; timing is everything. For example, the Oreo SuperBowl blackout takeover (If you’re not aware of this check it out – http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/02/oreo-twitter-super-bowl/) that showed everyone how timely ads should be done. Although these royal baby adverts aren’t exactly quick off the mark, we can all assume they’ve been in planning for 9 months, they’re definitely on the topical bandwagon.

My favourite has to be Warburtons advert although RyanAir also put up a good effort in the pun play-offs with their promotion for cheaper flights:


Whilst some brands took the humorous route others went for a more sophisticated approach such as Coca Cola and GH.Mumms Champagne:


Of course, with any exciting thing to happen in the UK comes with it the explosion on Twitter. (Of course, Facebook and other sites as well but Twitter is the leader of hypes.) Many took to Twitter to share their happiness over the announcement that Kate Middleton had gone into labour whilst others opted to share their lack of interest in the new Prince. (Personally, I’m all for the excitement of it; the future King has been born. It’s a big deal!) There were many funny tweets posted and one of my favourite ones is “@_Snape_ Dear William and Kate: If William is 100% royal and Princess Kate is 0% royal, will that make your son a half-blood prince? #RoyalBaby”.

BPzd56KCcAADnyiThe main hype though was the baby’s name. What would it be? Again, many people took a humorous route suggesting typically British names like Dave and setting up a petition for the new Prince to be presented to the world held up like the scene from The Lion King. A petition that was obviously never going to get passed. Some people thought about it seriously though and James and Andrew seemed to be the most popular name being mentioned under the hashtag #royalbabyname. I quite like the name James and HRH Prince James of Cambridge has quite a nice ring to it, in my opinion.

I love a good Twitter hype, especially when it’s about something so exciting rather than another Belieber takeover…

Smart Thinking For Smarter Cities Campaign

IBM has teamed up with Ogilvy agency to create 3D billboards for their Smarter Cities campaign. The billboards are as every bit handy as they are innovative and genius for gaining awareness. These 3D adverts act as rain shelters, benches, and ramps allowing the public to interact with the adverts in a new and dynamic way.


The main aim of the interactive billboards were to turn communications into useful pieces of infrastructure to be used in everyday life. Susan Westre, the Executive Creative Director at IBM says, “We were looking for an idea that reached regular citizens as well as city leaders.” Despite the creative and eye-catching design there has been a lot of questioning over the health and safety of them; the ramp design in particular as many feel a hand-rail would be needed. After the long process of approval for this advertisements Westre said, “By just getting this idea out there to the world, I think it will inspire others to think about how they can innovate, make, or do something that makes life a bit better in cities.”

I think this is a genius idea for creating awareness and giving the public the ability to interact with the adverts, good job IMB. Similarly as creative as 3M Security Glass bus stop advert. bus stop ad

3M Security Glass came up with the idea to put real money, 3 million dollars, inside two pieces of their indestructible security glass with the promise of ‘if you can break the glass, you can keep the money.’ Many people attempted to break the glass, some even returning with bats, axes and tree branches, but none being successful.

This advert also allows people to see the quality of the product and the company promise that comes with it.

These two examples just show how communications can stand out and be made dynamic and interactive. These should definitely be inspirational ideas for advertising, public relations and communications agencies.